Kevin Costner Revealed A Shocking Truth About One Of His Best Movies Over 25 Years Later

In 2019 Kevin Costner revealed it wasn't the late Whitney Houston on the famous poster for 1992's The Bodyguard, but her body double.

By Jessica Scott | Updated

kevin costner the bodyguard
Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard (1992)

Remember that famous movie poster for The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner carrying Whitney Houston in his arms? You may not know it as well as you thought. According to IMDb, the Yellowstone actor revealed in 2019 that the woman on the poster is actually Whitney Houston’s double.

Houston actually had three doubles in the film — a body double (Debra Hubbard), a dance double (Darlene Dillinger), and a stunt double (Joyce Larkin) — but according to TooFab, Kevin Costner never revealed which one was on the poster.

When the photo was taken, Whitney Houston had gone home or to her trailer to rest while Kevin Costner continued working. It was his idea to shoot the promotional photo with her double, perhaps to save some time or some effort for Houston. He told the double to tuck her face into his neck to keep it hidden, which would also cause the viewer to see how frightened she was and how much she trusted his bodyguard character.

In the end, Kevin Costner himself chose that photo for publicity purposes, and it became the main poster for the movie. 

kevin costner
The famous poster for The Bodyguard (1992)

Kevin Costner was pivotal to the success of the movie. He had a lot of say in many decisions, and worked hard to get the studio to hire Whitney Houston for the role, even though she had never acted in a film before. It was also his idea to have her start singing Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” a capella, leading to one of the most iconic songs ever to come out of the movies. 

Dolly Parton has said that she was so taken aback by the beauty of Whitney Houston’s version that when she heard it on the radio while driving, she had to pull off to the side of the road to listen to it because it moved her so much. 

In the end, Kevin Costner’s suggestions helped the film to become the second-highest grossing film of 1992, being beaten out only by Disney’s Aladdin. The Bodyguard soundtrack is also the best-selling movie soundtrack of all time, selling more than 37 million copies. 

Some of Kevin Costner’s other contributions to the film included his suggestion that Whitney Houston avoid taking acting lessons. He wanted her to seem as natural and “real” as possible. He also taught her how to express emotions with her eyes and to listen to the other actors instead of just reacting.

In exchange for his help, Houston gave Costner singing lessons.

The two actually bonded quite a lot during filming. One of the things they had in common was a background in the Baptist faith. Kevin Costner once told Whitney Houston that he had stolen grape juice from the communion glasses when he was a kid and got caught, something that gave them both a good laugh.

At Whitney Houston’s funeral in 2012, her then longtime friend Kevin Costner told a story about her audition for The Bodyguard, in which he described how she had been given “movie-set” makeup, but had taken it off and reapplied the stage makeup she used during her concerts so that she would feel more comfortable as she tried out for the role. Once she got under the harsh lights, though, the makeup began to melt and run down her face.

Kevin Costner stopped the audition and Whitney Houston went back to her trailer. She explained what had happened to Costner, and they got the movie-set makeup reapplied and got back to the audition, which Whitney Houston aced.